Raglan Castle (Castell Rhaglan)

Raglan Castle



Location: Monmouthshire County, Wales Map


Description of Raglan Castle

Raglan Castle LayoutRaglan Castle lies in the county of Monmouthshire in South eastern Wales near a village with the same name. Today Raglan presents to the visitors as picturesque ruins harmoniously laying  in the Welsch countryside. However in past it was a formidable citadel that saw some of the longest and bloodies sieges of its time. The walls and towers of the Raglan Castle that are preserved today date back to 1435 when they were constructed by Sir William ap Thomas. Its first owner was knighted as the Blue Knight of Gwent and also fought at the Battle of Agincourt under command of English king Henry V in 1415. Current Raglan Castle replaced the earlier 12th century castle that was build here before. Certain modifications were later added in the 16th century to strengthen the position. As many castle in the area Raglan castle fell prey to Parliamentary army in the time of the English Civil War. Its owner Marquess of Worcester was a strong supporter of monarchy and Charles the First in particular. In fact English king visited the castle at least twice. However his time ran out and he lost hid head at a scaffold. The Marquess felt compelled by his sense of duty to defend the castle, but on 19 August 1646 he was forced to surrender after thirteen weeks of bloody siege. The castle fell in disrepair as its military effectiveness have decreased with improvement of the firearms.


The main part of the castle is very roughly rectangular, with a large hall in the middle and courtyards on either side, each surrounded by towers and groups of apartments. The great tower, or Yellow Tower of Gwent , built as an enclave for the castellan family, is located in a moat, separated from the rest of the building, to which it is connected by a drawbridge .

The entrance to the castle is through the white gate (XVI century), of which very little remains. Originally, this was preceded by the Red Door , now totally destroyed. Crossing a bridge, past the monumental gatehouse, you enter the Stone Court , built around 1460, at the time of Sir William Herbert. The service area, to the right and up to the kitchen tower, is now almost completely in ruins and only the foundations indicate the original measurements. On the left is the surviving wall of the Great Hall , with a superb Erker . Above there was the chapel, the long gallery and a series of still visible chimneys. Through the Hall, you enter the Court of the Fountain, so named for the fountain with the statue of a white horse, of which only one base remains. All around there are remains of sumptuous apartments built during the reconstruction of Elizabethan times . From the castle you have a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.